Yesterday, when I was approaching my office building on the 42nd Avenue in Manhattan I saw a man carrying a backpack with a sign on it. The sign said “Payback” which was written in very big letters. At that moment, I felt strongly that I was meant to see this sign. It was clearly a sign from God answering my “why me?” questions.
This kind of thing happens to me. I have had numerous strange encounters in Manhattan. Most of these encounters involve homeless people shouting words at me.
Life is a struggle! There is no doubt about that! Most people in the Middle East think that life is a school and everything in life is a test. I grew up in that culture and internalized that way of thinking. Later, in college I was introduced to the Indian way of thinking which talks about Karma. After 35 years of immersion in the Indian way of thinking I have internalized the Karma theory also but it is still emotionally difficult for me to accept that Karma is so exact. We pay back with interest. That seems to be the law.
The “payback” we experience seems so disproportional to whatever we have done in the past. Since we don’t remember our sins in the past lives the current “payback” seems disproportional. Well…we don’t even remember the mistakes we did in this lifetime. We sometimes have no idea how much we hurt people emotionally. The law of Karma is so exact that those hurt feelings will return to us as samskaras and create similar feelings in us.
Rationally the law Karma makes sense to me because it is the expression of Divine Justice. But, emotionally it is very difficult to accept so I invented another perspective. I called it “special education.” Maybe there are experiences designed to move us on a faster track in spiritual development. Those special paths are independent of our karma.
I would like to add one more thing. God created the law of Karma but God is also softening the blows for us. Without His grace the “payback” would have been much more severe. Without His Grace no one could achieve liberation.
PS: The “payback” can be a reward as well.